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The boss of Middlesbrough’s last remaining foundry has praised a programme which delivered expert advice to engineering and manufacturing companies in the town.
The programme, run by Middlesbrough Council, offered manufacturing and engineering companies in Middlesbrough the chance to work with Teesside Manufacturing Centre, which is part of Teesside University.
Experts at the Teesside Manufacturing Centre helped companies understand where their business is, where they want it to go and the issues they face getting there.
As well as financial analysis, identification of training needs and support to enter new markets, the programme’s long-term aim was to help companies improve their standing, profitability and to succeed in new markets.
Middlesbrough’s last remaining foundry, William Lane Foundry, was one of nine companies which took part in the programme.
The foundry, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, is an important part of Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage yet continues to remain relevant in today’s markets.
Managing Director Edward Bilcliffe said: “We took part in a full business review and as a result we have a detailed report showing the strengths and weaknesses of the company and identifying areas of focus for the future.
“There weren’t any great surprises, which is a good thing, but it was very helpful in distilling out what we are good at and the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
The programme was funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “At Middlesbrough Council we are committed to supporting our manufacturing and engineering base.
“This programme was very successful in helping companies take a step back, look at where they are, where they want to be and how to get there.
“Everyone found it beneficial and it will hopefully lead on to further success for those involved.”
It is an exciting time for engineering and manufacturing in Middlesbrough with an Advanced Manufacturing Park planned on the former South West Ironmasters Works.
This 32 acre site, alongside the A66 to the west of the town centre, will become a major location for manufacturing companies with a strong emphasis on research and development. The site has the potential to create up to 1,500 jobs, the majority of which will be highly skilled.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Middlesbrough should contact Richard Dowson at Middlesbrough Council’s Economic Development department 01642 729560.